Conglomerate Press Corporation Limited says its plans to venture into energy generation are at an advanced stage.

PCL Board Chairman Clement Chilingulo said on the side lines of the group’s annual general meeting in Blantyre on Wednesday that the company is exploring the generation of both hydro and solar energy.

He said PCL is expecting to have something more concrete on the matter by June 2015.

“We are actively pursuing the matter and management is actually talking to several project sponsors.

“I am confident that come this time next year, we should be talking of something else, that something is on the ground,” said Chilingulo.

The PCL group had a good year in 2013 as it saw its after-tax profit surging by 83 percent from K9.5 billion in 2012 to K17.36 billion in 2013.

Chilingulo attributed the significant profit jump to the availability of forex and fuel in the country which enabled the group’s subsidiaries to do its operations efficiently.

“We hope that in 2014 we will carry on from where we left off and that we will expand and grow the current business we are doing but also venture in new sectors such as power generation and also expand the telecommunication sector.

“We know that there are challenges and there have been challenges. You are all aware of the fraud; looting and stealing that went on at Capital Hill that has resulted in donors suspending aid to Malawi. That has affected the liquidity position. We can only hope that now that the elections are over, the donor inflows will start coming and that would make us perform even better,” said Chilingulo.

With a new government in place, the PCL Chair said his group expects the new administration to implement policies that will facilitate growth.

“We hope that what has gone on in 2013, the new government will look at it and adopt those policies that have worked,” he said.

During the AGM, shareholders approved a final dividend of K841.4 million representing K7 per share.

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